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Old 02-02-2001, 11:14 PM   #11
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What if I told you that this is a very good example of a breach of Jewish oral tradition and more of a political/religious statment? The miracle serves to legitimize the message not the method as a medical proceedure.
 
Old 02-05-2001, 12:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Josephus:
Omnedon1,

Differing aliments cause blindness. A person may have more than one. Some might need a double touch, others might not.

</font>
Oh really?

Then you cannot use a double-touch miracle as evidence for the accuracy of the bible's claim. Unless you know for sure that this man who was (allegedly) healed had 2 ailments - do you know that? Of course not. For all you know, there might be some types of blindness that require 3, or 4, or even more touches.

Of course, this all begs another question: why does an omnipotent god need to match his healing touches in a one-for-one manner, in the same number and frequency that a doctor would administer surgeries? Or why does an omnipotent god need to administer one touch for every ailment that needs healing? Couldn't an all-powerful god heal the entire eye on the FIRST touch, and skip the 2nd touch?

Face it: you've found a interesting coincidence between (1) modern ophthamology and (2) a bible story, and you erred by trying to use (1) to prove (2).


Also, the function of Jesus miracles were more than random acts of grace upon needy people. Rather they are used to teach a lesson. The way it is preformed matters as much as what is done. In this case the miracle provides a bridge between the disciples "seeing" that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus having to reeducate them about their false notions about what the Christ would do.
[/QUOTE]

No. The particular parable in question mentions none of this. You are interpolating your own desires here; but the text does not support such additional speculation.

 
Old 02-05-2001, 04:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Josephus:
Also, is Jesus' power waning? Why did it take the Almighty two touches and not one? </font>
I think this is the most compelling statement in your post. It is not limited with just this one event though. In all of the biblical stories, Jesus/god seem to use extremely crude measures to accomplish some goal they are after. Why did jesus have to touch him at all?

Why would an all powerful god go through all of the trouble to flood the earth and direct noah to the huge task he had, when all he had to do is will it.

This is just 1 example, but the same question can be asked of almost every biblical story that god is a part of.
This to me implies that the value of the book is in the story, not to whatever degree any of it is actually true. Because if the results were the important thing to god, surely he could just will it to be so.

David
 
Old 02-06-2001, 06:41 PM   #14
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It is an assumption about God to say that he would never interact with the natural. Ahh, but that is most people's problem with God, they see no interaction in physical nature. Well, here it is. Is our conception of God so conveluted that we picture a God that hovers an inch off the ground and leaves no foot prints. A God that is not touched by the very rules of nature that he put in place.

Also, my interpretation on the double touch miracle is not a pure assumption. It has much support by the surrounding context and structure of the segments that Mark is divided into. It was a half year of indepth study before these conclusions were reached, and they are not done purly by myself either. If you want my to delineate Mark's structure for you I will, but not tonight, within the week though I will.

[This message has been edited by Josephus (edited February 07, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Josephus (edited February 07, 2001).]
 
Old 02-13-2001, 11:58 PM   #15
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[quote]
Is our conception of God so conveluted that we picture a God that hovers an inch off the ground and leaves no foot prints. A God that is not touched by the very rules of nature that he put in place.
[quote]

By definition, a miracle is when God suspends the laws he puts into place. You're trying to postulate a god that is *somewhat* bounded by his laws, but not entirely.

[quote]
Also, my interpretation on the double touch miracle is not a pure assumption. It has much support by the surrounding context and structure of the segments that Mark is divided into.
[quote]

Sorry. Your interpretation is 100% assumption. It relies upon the following unproven assumptions:

(1) some visual ailments would have a two-part healing;
(2) this particular man had such an ailment;
(3) God was forced to perform the healing in a two-stage event vs. a single stroke--even though the same god (allegedly) divided the Red Sea and made the sun go backwards, thus showing his independence from any such limitations.

[quote]
It was a half year of indepth study before these conclusions were reached, and they are not done purly by myself either. If you want my to delineate Mark's structure for you I will, but not tonight, within the week though I will.
[quote]

If it was a half year spent on this verse, then I hope the rest of your life isn't as wasted as that six month period was.
 
Old 02-14-2001, 08:17 PM   #16
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There is one assumption you missed. That God purposely preforms miracles (signs) in a method that teaches the people that see them.


A bare bones sketch of the sections in Mark in question:

1) The surrounding segment 8:11-30 takes on this literary broad structure: a)Pharisee's ask for a confirming sign but don't get it, b) blind disciples, c) A blind man see's partially and then clearly, d) The disciples finally see that Jesus is the Christ. The next literary segment 8:31-9:50 begins to deal with a redefinition/reeducation on what the Christ will actually do.

2) The only previous occurrence of the term for Christ is in 1:1. This verse is not a complete sentence and most probably a title for the book. Hence, chapter 8 is the first time in the course of the story that it appears.

3) The scenes which pass before 8:11-30 do everything but leave out the name Christ. There is a building progression of unusual miracles that set up the miracle worker for a proclamation about himself. But this proclamation remains implicit. That is until the tension breaks in 8:11-30. Until then, the reader is the one evaluating all the stories. It has a, "see it, do you see it? they don't see it those dummies" kind a feel.

4) 8:11-30 comes at the major division in the entire book. Previous to this point there is little verbal teaching and much miracle narrative. From here on though, there are comparatively huge dialogues discussing the nature of the Christ. The double touch healing becomes the literary devise that pivots the whole work. It is a sort of audio/visual telling the disciples "Oh, you finnnally realized I'm the Christ, but wait. Now I'm going to clear your false perceptions about what that means. I'm going to be a suffering Messiah, and die." Thus the climax or realization becomes an anticlimax to the disciples.


The implications of this are for a different discussion about the broader aim of the author of Mark. But, the interpretation I presented is not mere assumption. While Bible thumpers don't scrutinize the Bible analytically, there is credible hermeneutics out there. I'm reminded of the X-files...the truth is out there...for those that look.

Now, the fact that God may divide a miracle up between two problems (that's what I'm assuming you meant by natural means), does not discount the miracle or the person who preforms it. Whether it has been established that that person exists or not is a different question.

I in no way said that God was forced to use a natural means or that He was bound by the laws of nature. I present that He may choose to work with in them for His purposes when ever He so chooses.

Furthermore, I'm not assuming that the man had a double problem. I'm deducing it from modern examples of eye rehabilitation. The scientific side probably never entered the mind of the writer. What I am saying is that the account coincides with what we have only recently found to be the case. My question is could a 1st century writer have fabricated such a story, when he had no knowledge of the biology necessary for such a tale? My assertion is that the interview matches other testimony beyond that of the witness's knowledge.

However, I do enjoy the interaction of doubts. It is sign of credible thought.
 
Old 02-14-2001, 11:42 PM   #17
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[quote]
1) The surrounding segment 8:11-30 takes on this literary broad structure: a)Pharisee's ask for a confirming sign but don't get it, b) blind disciples, c) A blind man see's partially and then clearly, d) The disciples finally see that Jesus is the Christ. The next literary segment 8:31-9:50 begins to deal with a redefinition/reeducation on what the Christ will actually do.
[quote]

Problem: the "blind" disciples are also referred to as "deaf" (Mark 8:18). Yet no healing of a deaf person takes place. Therefore your assertion that the two-step healing of a blind man is somehow a physical representation of a spiritual allegory is on weak ground.

Second problem: in the preceding 8 chapters, Mark provides more than sufficient verbal evidence from Jesus that he is attesting to his own Messiah-hood. Phrases such as "the son of man" "how great things the Lord has done for thee" would have been blasphemous in any other context.

Additionally, to follow the strict fundamentalist viewpoint, if this prophet could cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and perform other such miracles, then he has fulfilled the checklist of expectations for what the Messiah would do.

Your assumption that chapter 8 represents some sort of crescendo in the revelation of Jesus as the Christ is weak. From the view of the writer Mark, the previous miracles were the crescendo.


[quote]
Now, the fact that God may divide a miracle up between two problems (that's what I'm assuming you meant by natural means), does not discount the miracle or the person who preforms it. Whether it has been established that that person exists or not is a different question.

I in no way said that God was forced to use a natural means or that He was bound by the laws of nature. I present that He may choose to work with in them for His purposes when ever He so chooses.
[quote]

Then why would Christ have told this man:

MAR 8:26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

This also works against your "crescendo" argument, by the way - why would the Christ want his works and message hidden?


[quote]
Furthermore, I'm not assuming that the man had a double problem. I'm deducing it from modern examples of eye rehabilitation.
[quote]

The problem with your statement is that there are many different kinds of eye ailments, and (not surprisingly) many kinds of eye rehabilitations. You are attempting to use a "one size fits all" approach to this - - since the man in question had an ailment, then had a medical doctor been present, the man would have needed a two-step healing or rehab process. You simply do *not* know that. Period, end of story. You do not know which kind this person had, or whether or not it required a two-stage healing (even in the natural, medical sense of the word).

[quote]
The scientific side probably never entered the mind of the writer. What I am saying is that the account coincides with what we have only recently found to be the case.
[quote]

Except we have *not* found this to be the case. It is entirely dependent upon the particular ailment, about which you know less than zero. See the above.


[quote]
My question is could a 1st century writer have fabricated such a story, when he had no knowledge of the biology necessary for such a tale?
[quote]

Again: there is no biology necessary for this. I do not know where you are deriving this belief, but it is incorrect.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of eye ailments. You cannot assume that they all require a two-step healing process. I realize that would make this nice and tidy for you, but reality doesn't work that way.

 
Old 02-17-2001, 12:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Problem: the "blind" disciples are also referred to as "deaf" (Mark 8:18). Yet no healing of a deaf person takes place. Therefore your assertion that the two-step healing of a blind man is somehow a physical representation of a spiritual allegory is on weak ground.
</font>
Why does a miraculous illustration have to be multifaceted? A demonstration only has to be performed once to be effective in its point.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Second problem: in the preceding 8 chapters, Mark provides more than sufficient verbal evidence from Jesus that he is attesting to his own Messiah-hood. Phrases such as "the son of man" "how great things the Lord has done for thee" would have been blasphemous in any other context.
</font>
To the contrary, it is not verbal. Son of Man does not necessarily have to carry the idea of Messiahship. There are many references in the OT where the phrase is used as merely human. But the remarkable thing is that it can be Messiah by intertestamental literature and the book of Daniel. This dual possibility allows concealment from some and revelation to others. Also it is quite typical Jewish language to give glory to God when a miracle has come through any godly person.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Additionally, to follow the strict fundamentalist viewpoint, if this prophet could cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and perform other such miracles, then he has fulfilled the checklist of expectations for what the Messiah would do.
</font>
By whose book? There are many differing ideas about Messiah within Judaism, from an un-miraculous Torah teacher to a superhuman leader and many more besides. While I agree with you that these miracles do point to his Messiahship in Mark, the whole point of the first half is that Jesus is giving them ample proof, and they are just not getting it.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Your assumption that chapter 8 represents some sort of crescendo in the revelation of Jesus as the Christ is weak. From the view of the writer Mark, the previous miracles were the crescendo.
</font>
Upon what verses and structures as evidence? Rather, a concept of delay and anticlimax has been brewing from 1:1-13. Loaded with OT expectations these verse cause a 1st century Jew's ears to anticipate Jesus going to the Temple to begin judgment on the wicked and set up reign right after his inaugural baptism. Instead he goes to the wilderness. This is a spoof on the reader. There are also other mini anticlimaxes leading up to the major pivot.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Then why would Christ have told this man:

MAR 8:26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

This also works against your "crescendo" argument, by the way - why would the Christ want his works and message hidden?
</font>
Rather, what we see is Jesus concealing himself from the frenzies, and expectations of the crowds, and confiding in faithful followers. This is not the first time Jesus is commanding silence in this book and for good reason. The end of segment 1:14-45 makes this reason abundantly clear. There is a growing tension between Jesus purpose in teaching about the kingdom, and the crowd's expectations of Him. The crowds actually end up stifling His teaching by constant pleadings for healings. Also, if someone's expectations of you were higher than what you were going to do, it would be wise to let on gradually? Hence the well documented idea of the Messianic secret. There are a few constant themes that run through the segments of Mark: the kingdom is not what you think, the people of the kingdom are not what you think, and the Messiah is not what you think He is.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The problem with your statement is that there are many different kinds of eye ailments, and (not surprisingly) many kinds of eye rehabilitations. You are attempting to use a "one size fits all" approach to this - - since the man in question had an ailment, then had a medical doctor been present, the man would have needed a two-step healing or rehab process. You simply do *not* know that. Period, end of story. You do not know which kind this person had, or whether or not it required a two-stage healing (even in the natural, medical sense of the word).
</font>
I challenge you to present the differing ailments possible, the different cures possible, and most importantly the perceptions of those in differing types of rehabilitation. Also present the percentages that each of these occur. Then we may evaluate how general or specific, how likely its was that there is a match.

What I think you'll find is that visual problems break down into two broad categories, eye and brain. Anyone who has been blind for more than ten years or so, somehow lose the ability to process optic impulses. Retraining of the brain over a long process is pretty much a norm. Babies for example can not focus when they are born, and see things upside down as their eyes tell them. It is through experience that their brains eventually make the adjustments for them. This is hearsay, but I have heard of an experiment were people wore glasses that flipped the image on their retina. In time, their brains compensated by flipping the image itself again. Our brains are truly a final frontier.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Except we have *not* found this to be the case. It is entirely dependent upon the particular ailment, about which you know less than zero. See the above.
</font>
If I catch you right, you are saying that, "what if the problem was only a one step problem, then the double touch is worth nothing as evidence." Fair enough. Still, I do think that his immediate reaction is evidence that it was a two step problem, and not one. Perhaps you could find out if anyone has had this effect when it was documented that it was only an eye problem. That would make a good rebuttal. However, without such evidence to the contrary, it is a strong case that matches only what happens in the instances of complex blindness.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Again: there is no biology necessary for this. I do not know where you are deriving this belief, but it is incorrect.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of eye ailments. You cannot assume that they all require a two-step healing process. I realize that would make this nice and tidy for you, but reality doesn't work that way.
</font>
My point is that reality and biology does work this way. Do you have biological evidence that says it doesn't? I would be very interested in discussing what you find.
 
Old 02-17-2001, 10:57 AM   #19
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quote:
If I catch you right, you are saying that, "what


Just testing the quote function.
 
Old 02-17-2001, 11:55 AM   #20
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[quote]
Why does a miraculous illustration have to be multifaceted? A demonstration only has to be performed once to be effective in its point.
[quote]

The fact that it only happened with the blind, and not with the deaf or any other kind of ailment, works against your theory that this is some kind of a physical manifestation of a deeper spiritual truth.

Mentioning multiple different spiritual allegorical symbols (deafness, blindness, etc.) and then only creating a physical counterpart for ONE of those symbols is a fact that undermines your argument. In fact, the allegorical symbol of "hearing" is found more frequently than "seeing" in the first chapters of Mark anyhow. So if Christ were looking for a physical counterpart to illustrate a spiritual point, healing deafness would have been more appropriate.

In other words, there is no evidence that the healing was intended to be the real-world illustration of a spiritual point, which (I believe) was your argument.


[quote]
To the contrary, it is not verbal.
[quote]

It is quite verbal; the words are there in the text as having been spoken by Jesus himself. As I indicated in my original post, Jesus' self-references as "the son of man" and "the Lord has done for thee" were (a) verbal and (b) sufficient to show that Jesus was indicating his own Messiah-hood. As, of course, were the miracles (assuming one is inclined to believe that they happened). There is also the additional verbal testimony of the demon possessed individuals, who fell down and said "Thou art the Son of God" (Mark 3:11).

[quote]
By whose book? There are many differing ideas about Messiah within Judaism, from an un-miraculous Torah teacher to a superhuman leader and many more besides.
[quote]


Yes, and by the 8th chapter of Mark (if you take it literally), Jesus had already fulfilled that check-list of requirements.


[quote]
While I agree with you that these miracles do point to his Messiahship in Mark, the whole point of the first half is that Jesus is giving them ample proof, and they are just not getting it.
[quote]


There may be different ideas about Messiah-ship in Judaism, but (from the xtian literalist viewpoint) Christ was supposed to
fulfill a certain set of prophecies. In addition, you are postulating a situation where Christ raised the dead, fed thousands of people from loaves and fishes, healed sick, cast out devils, healed deaf and blind people, and YET HIS DISCIPLES STILL WEREN'T GETTING IT? Were his disciples dumb as bricks?

Your statement that the disciples could have seen all this, been present with him daily, seen other miracles, heard other teaching, etc. and still not perceived Jesus as the Messiah, is nonsense - - REGARDLESS of which type of Messiahship they were thinking about in Judaism. It is also a major argument against these stories being actual historical fact; it fits much better with the tradition of the myth-man.


 
 

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